5 Beautiful Temples to Visit in China

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Beautiful Temples to Visit in China

China is one of the world’s most innovative and progressive countries, yet step away from the modernity and you’ll discover a country that maintains a firm grip on its ancient cultures and spirituality. There’s hundreds of fascinating temples and shrines scattered across this great land that offer a glimpse into the centuries-old philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism. To see them all could take a lifetime, so we’ve chosen five of the most beautiful to get you started.

Dafo Temple, Gansu Province

Credit: gionnixxx/iStock

Constructed during the Western Xia dynasty, this 2nd-century temple is one of the last-surviving wooden landmarks from the era located in China. It’s often called the “Great Buddha Temple”, a reference to the 115-foot-long sleeping Buddha that greets you in the main hall. Sculptures of arhats, who are Buddhists that have gained enlightenment, surround the giant statue, as do murals of classic Chinese stories such as Journey to the West and Classic of Mountain and Seas. Legend states that a Yuan Dynasty queen lived there and gave birth to the Mongolian warrior Kublai Khan.

Hanging Temple (Xuankong Si), Shanxi Province

Credit: Dashu Xinganling/Shutterstock.com

Little can prepare you for your first sight of this series of pagodas set precariously on a cliff face at the base of Mount Heng. Time Magazine included the temple in its list of Top 10 Precarious Buildings, and it is easy to see why when studying the interconnecting walkways and long supporting stilts, which are embedded into the rocks. Despite giving the impression that it will fall at any moment, the temple has stood firm for 1,400 years. Even more impressive when it is said the foundations were laid by a solitary monk. In addition to its magnificent structure, the temple is the only place in China where Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are all practiced.

Labrang Monastery, Gansu Province

Credit: Marcin Szymczak/Shutterstock.com

Established in 1709, Labrang Monastery plays host to the largest group of monks outside of Tibet and, at one point, provided residence for up to 4,000 of them. A great way to experience its serene beauty is to follow the inner kora, a 2.2-mile pathway of prayer wheels that pass numerous chapels and temple halls. Guided tours provide access to some halls and the chance to observe the monks’ activities first hand. Get here at sunrise to see the monks praying, or come at dusk to hear them chanting sutras.

Longmen Cave Temples, Henan Province

Credit: YinYang/iStockphoto

On an almost 1-mile long stretch of the Yi River waterfront is a collection of 2,300 caves that have existed since around 493 A.D. Each cave is etched into limestone cliffs and features some of the finest known examples of art from the Northern Wei and Tang dynasties. There’s over 110,000 statues and 60 Buddhist pagodas. Among the most striking statues are the huge Buddhas in the Guyangdong Cave and Three Binyang Cave. Such is the value of the caves that they have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Temple of Heaven, Beijing

Credit: zhaojiankang/iStockphoto

In the heart of Beijing is a masterpiece of Chinese architecture that dates back to 1406. The main temple, the triple-tier circular Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, stands magnificently on a square marble base. This square-round contrast stems from the ancient Chinese belief of a round heaven and square Earth. The four inner, 12 middle, and 12 outer columns of the hall’s brightly-colored interior symbolize the four seasons, 12 months, and 12 Chinese zodiac hours. Landscaped gardens and pine woods encompass the temple and the entire complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

China: US urged to stop using religious issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

US urged to stop using religious issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs

Xinhua

China on Thursday slashed US President Donald Trump’s meeting with so-called “Chinese victims of religious persecution,” urging the US side to stop using religious issues to interfere in its internal affairs.

“It is sheer interference in China’s domestic affairs for the US side to invite Falun Gong cultists and those who slander China’s religious policies to attend a so-called religious conference and arrange for the meeting with the US leader,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press briefing when asked to comment on the meeting at the White House Wednesday.

“China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposes such a move,” Lu said.

He said the situation of so-called religious persecution does not exist in China and Chinese citizens enjoy the freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law.

“We demand that the United States correctly view China’s religious policies and the status of religious freedom in China, and stop using the issue of religion to interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs,” Lu said.

India: On World Population Day, Giriraj demands 2 child norm, links it to religion

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

On World Population Day, Giriraj demands 2 child norm, links it to religion

The Begusarai BJP MP said that there should be a rule of having only two children in the country for every religion and those who violated it, should be debarred from the right to vote.

INDIA Updated: Jul 11, 2019 17:33 IST

Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Giriraj Singh,population explosion,2 child norm
Union Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Giriraj Singh, initially posted his comments on population explosion on social media and later spoke to the media.(HT FILE PHOTO.)

Union minister Giriraj Singh, known for his controversial statements, has linked the rising population of the country with religion. On World Population Day, on Thursday, Singh initially tweeted his views and later told the media that population explosion was disturbing the social harmony and balance of the country.

The Begusarai BJP MP said that there should be a rule of having only two children in the country for every religion and those who violated it, should be debarred from the right to vote.

The minister, without naming any community, said that the rising population was posing threats to resources and harmony. “It’s ruining the economy,” he said.

Singh’s tweet in Hindi said, “Population explosion in India is disturbing social harmony and balance. Religious interference is also a reason related to population control. Like in 1947, India is heading towards division on the basis of culture. Every political party should come forward to make laws regarding population control.”

He requested all parties to mull over the issue seriously. “A strict law should be made to control the population. There is a need to raise the issue in Parliament,” he said.

Singh, three years ago, had demanded laws for sterilization in the country.

The firebrand BJP leader has always been in the news for the wrong reasons. During the parliamentary elections, he had demanded a ban on green flags, which he said, “tend to create hatred in the society and gives one a feeling of being in Pakistan.” This had caused huge embarrassment to BJP’s alliance partner, JD(U), as both JD(U) and the main opposition party, RJD, have green flags.

If that was not enough, he triggered another row during the Lok Sabha polls when during an election meeting he said, “Muslims will have to say Vande Mataram if they need three yards of land for a graveyard.” A comment that had angered key ally JD(U) which in turn asked the Election Commission (EC) to take cognizance of his comments.

Singh has been known for his controversial remarks in the past too. Only last year, he had embarrassed the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar, when he demanded renaming Bakhtiarpur town, where Nitish Kumar was born. The minister also wanted the name of Akbarpur in his current Lok Sabha constituency of Nawada changed, saying it was named after Mughal emperor Akbar.

Singh’s latest comments on population found support from NDA MLAs in Bihar. “For the sake of the country, we need to control population, irrespective of religion. If not controlled today, it is bound to create food and water scarcity in the country,” said JD (U) MLA, Lallan Paswan. BJP’s MLA Sachindra Kumar, too, supported the union minister’s demand for population control.

The opposition, however, snubbed the demand. “This shows the narrow-mindedness of the union minister,” said RJD’s MLA, Bhola Yadav. Congress MLC Premchandra Mishra wondered how one can seize anybody’s voting rights. “He is in the habit of saying weird things,” Mishra said.

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 17:19 IST

Religions: At War With The World

Religions: At War With The World

 

When I was ten or eleven years old I started going to a local Church of Christ and I remained going there regularly until I was 17. I say this to help those who don’t know me to understand me a little better. I married a lady whom was a ‘non attendee’ Jehovah’s Witness.  I do not claim to be a Bible Scholar, I am not. I have studied the Bible now for just over 50 years. I have done a lot of reading on different beliefs within different Church denominations as well as doing a lot of reading material from Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and several other large ‘Religious’ groups and beliefs. So, this article to you tonight is just simply my views and beliefs on this matter. Like in all of the letters I write to you I am requesting that you take a few moments and think about the subject matter I am speaking with you about.

 

In the Old Testament teachings in the Books of Moses (Jewish Torah) G-d ordered the destruction of all the people who possessed the lands that was to become the Land of Israel. At that point in history G-d did order the deaths of many thousands of ‘Creatures’. (I will explain in a moment). Even Jesus Himself referred to non-Jews as “dogs” and as “people who were not a people”. You see, before the resurrection of Christ the only ‘people’ who had any chance of salvation were the Jews. Since the resurrection of Christ Jesus everyone on the planet is born with the chance of eternal salvation. Now, once the people under the leadership of Joshua did invade the lands but they did not do as God had ordered. The people did not totally wipe the people off of the land, they let many live as since they disobeyed G-d He told them that there would be a remnant of these people mixed in within them and that these people would be a continues thorn in their side. Look at the reality that is Palestine today, that is one hell of a thorn folks. But, in answer to the main question of if it is okay yesterday, today or tomorrow for the Jewish people to use the Scriptures for guidance to commit violence against other people? The answer to that is no, it does not. Scripture does however give all people the right to protect themselves when an act of violence is being lain upon them or their family. Also, nowhere else in Biblical Scripture does the ‘Word Of G-d’ tell the Jewish people or later on, the Christian people to be killers of the ‘non-faithful’.

 

I had been thinking about writing a paragraph of so concerning the ‘Christian Bible’ but simply put, there is no place in the New Testament that Jesus ever told anyone to go and kill people. If a person is a follower of or believer of the Biblical Scriptures then there marching orders is to love, not hate. If we say we are a Christian but our heart is filled with hate toward any people, then Christ is simply not with us. G-d is indeed at war with the world but what He is at war with is the evil upon it and meaning mainly the Devil and His tens of thousands of Dark Angels. G-d hates the sin, not us sinners. And truly, we should all thank G-d for that every day we are still breathing.

 

Now, Islam. I do not claim to be a scholar of Islam but I have studied a lot of their material now for decades. One of the things that the world and our politicians ( especially the Democrats in the U.S.) do not understand is that Islam is not a race, it is not a minority, it is the world’s most dangerous ideology though. I as a person, I as a Christian have no hate for Muslim nor Persian people even though most believe in the Islamic Faith. What the Religion of Islam tries very hard to hide is the fact that they have two ‘Holy Books’ not one. We here in the West when we hear about Islamic teachings and the Islamic Holy Book we are all used to hearing about the Quran and that’s all. What is the Quran then? This is a simple fact, the Quran is one of Islam’s Holy Books, what is it though? It is a book of the ‘saying of the Prophet Muhammad’. If the Quran was the only ‘Holy Book’ that the believers of Islam believed in the world we all live in would be a whole lot safer and friendlier place to live. There is a huge problem though and that is the fact that the ‘real’ Holy Book of Islam is called the Hadith. What is the Hadith and if it is such an important book to the believers of Islam shouldn’t they be quoting ‘in public’ the works of ‘the Prophet’? You see, the Quran is ‘the sayings’ of the Prophet, the Hadith is ‘the works’ of the Prophet. All good believers of Islam if they wish to be a follower of the Prophet must also emulate his works. Read the Hadith people, if there is a sin that Muhammad did not do it would be a rare thing. This man teaches his followers to be liars, cheats, thieves, pedophile and mass murderers, that is how true believer are supposed to live their lives. Islam is at war with the world as are the Christians yet the difference are as different as the Sun and the Moon. For a true believer of Islam all people must convert to their brand of Islam or you will be enslaved or murdered, it is that simple folks.

 

War, really? We are all at war right now yet it seems that the politicians of ‘the West’ have their heads stuck so far up a sand crabs butt it is scary. Will the politicians sell out the people of this planet? What do you think?

 

 

 

Is China’s Government Really As Anti Religion As The American Government Says It Is?

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News)

China to ban religious profiteering

CHINA is amending a religious affairs regulation to ban personal profiteering from religions.

Religious groups, institutes of education and sites are all non-profit, and no individuals or organizations should divide up, occupy or embezzle their property and revenue, according to a draft amendment to the 2004 regulation, released Wednesday by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council for soliciting public opinion until Oct. 7.

No organizations and individuals are entitled to ownership nor rights of use of religious venues if they donate money to build the venues, and they may not gain “economic benefits” from the venues, the draft amendment reads.

The amendment was made to “ensure citizen’s religious freedom, safeguard religious and social harmony and regulate religious affairs.”

In tourist resorts featuring religious activities, buildings should be subject to the style and environment of the religious activity venues. Authorities should coordinate the interests of the venues and resorts, protecting normal religious activities and the rights of religious staff and believers.

Religious groups are allowed to accept donations from overseas individuals and organizations, based on relevant regulations and without any conditions attached, it said, but donations exceeding 100,000 yuan (about 15,000 U.S. dollars) must be reported to local authorities for approval.

Any unapproved acceptance of donations from home or overseas will be punished.

Those who, without authorization, organize believers to pay homage, receive training or attend meetings and other activities overseas will be fined from 20,000 to 200,000 yuan, and may be held criminally responsible.

The draft also reiterates that it is illegal to preach, hold religious activities, or establish religious organs or sites in schools.

Religion, Personal Type Poem: Our Gifts To God

Our Gifts To God

 

Have I set my heart and Soul to the will of God

Have I not given my own gold and silver to the poor

My hands worked willingly for the constitution of good

Do our people rejoice, do we give of our riches willingly

Do we not know that all things we have, were first God’s

 

I tithe above the Pharisee’s and the Sadducee’s, is this not good

If we are blessed with wealth, can we go through the eye of a needle

The poor may bless our gifts but the Lord knows if our heart is pure

When the poor donate their last dollar the Lord sees their sacrifice

Rich and poor live and die, our kindness or greed, now The Lord judges

 

If we give to make a show of our ‘kindness’, we are as phony as our love

When we help the Church, friend or stranger remember to close your mouth

The Loud Mouth garners the adoration of men, and the anger of the Lord

When we give, do so quietly for what we do in secret the Lord rewards openly

Giving of our-self to God’s Grace with love we will be rewarded from Heaven above

(Spiritual Birthday Poem) 62

62

 

I can hardly believe that I am now 62

Has nature played a joke on you and me

I never thought this day is one I’d see

I look in the mirror startled by what I see

There’s this old ugly bald guy looking at me

 

Blessings have rolled my way to see this day

Without the Lord’s protection in a grave I’d be

So many times I’ve fallen into the world of sin

Yet the Lord always took my hand and forgave me

I don’t deserve the kindness the Lord shines on me

 

Through the Lord’s grace I now see this anniversary day

Bald, toothless and ugly yet still allowed this morning to see

The Spirit of the Lord still shines His love within the likes of me

I pray for the younger ones to this world I know I soon will leave

The Lord has compassion on all who have the wisdom to believe

Personal Human Safety: Is There Such A Thing Here On Earth

Personal Human Safety: Is There Such A Thing Here On Earth

 

Safety is there really such a thing here in this world? I guess that it is true that safety just like beauty can be just in the eye of the beholder. Then again is the term safe actually dependent on the subject matter? There is the concept of physical safety, or safety for your financial wealth whether in your cash, stocks, or bonds. But tonight I am speaking mainly about the physical safety of yourself and your loved ones. For many thousands of years now millions of human beings have used different types of drugs to escape their physical reality. Sometimes people use these drugs whether God-given ones such as in plants and herbs or ones that are man-made in laboratory’s. So often people seek an inner peace or euphoria so that they can escape the living hell they face each day here on Earth. The hellish conditions we see on Earth are all man-made for the only true hell we have to fear is the one that separates us from God Himself after our deaths. Life without putting our Creator first is a life that we all should fear every second we breath for no ones next breath is guaranteed. Fear, if we are ignorant enough to not fear Hell itself then we are truly both ignorant and stupid. Earth, the place where the Devil and his tens of thousands of dark Angels roam freely is not a place where physical safety for any human exists.

 

Within the first few verses of the 5th chapter of the book of Job in the Bible you read about one of Job’s friends named Eliphaz who was trying to be wise in his speech about the torments Job was going through. Eliphaz spoke to Job in this manner when he said “for wrath kills the foolish man and envy slays the silly one. I have seen the foolish take root and I cursed his habitation. His foolish children are far from being safe and they are crushed in the gate and there is none to deliver them. For man is born unto trouble, as the flames fly upward (from Hell)”.

 

In the fourth chapter of the Book of Psalms Israel’s King David wrote, ” But know that the Lord has set apart him that is Godly for Himself: The Lord will hear when I call unto Him. Stand in awe and sin not: Commune with God in your heart upon your bed and be still. I will lay me down in peace and sleep: for you O Lord and you alone make me dwell in safety. Offer your sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.” The Apostle Paul when he was writing his letter to the Church in the third chapter of the Book of Philippians he wrote; ” My brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write these same things to you is not grievous to me, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of workers of evil, beware of the mutilations. Yes doubtless I count all things for loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all my Earthly things, and do count them as dung, that I may win Christ and be found in Him. Not having my own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

 

Here in this twenty-first century A.D. it would be so nice if we in our own lives could truly live in physical safety. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if no one ever did any harm to themselves or to anyone else? What if there was no such thing as hatred, jealousy, ego’s or murder? We all know in our hearts and minds that this is not the current situation that we all live in today. Friends as long as the Devil, his Angels, and those ignorant enough to follow him roam the surface of the Earth, no one is safe, everyone is under attack, even if we are unaware of it.

 

Throughout the Scriptures we are told many times to walk our lives in meekness and humility. God tells us to put others before ourselves. We are told it is better to sit in the back of a congregation and to be brought forward than to be one that puts themselves in the front just so we can be moved to the back.  Ego my friends, pride and lust, these are spiritual and physical traps laid before all of us in today’s society. In this time we are all living in we have as a culture gone beyond being a me first generation of the 1980’s. Today we have degenerated into a culture of a ‘me only’ life style. For those poor people who believe that there is no such thing as a ‘here after’, that there is no such thing as God, I feel so sad for them. To think that this life is all there is and that this life is all that matters is so sad.

 

Take a moment and look around the world today, so many people are filled with hatred and so much blood is being spilled in wars and in our own streets. There is a term used a lot in the World Court called ethnic cleansing that is truly a world-wide disgrace. Often throughout world history this has been done toward people because of race issues and culture issues yet the worse of these are ones that are dictated by a religion, this shows the pure evil that is this religion. We all live in a world of sadness where thousands of people die everyday whether by their own hand or by the hand of a murderer or even by starvation for there is no such thing as physical safety today. Friends there is no place on this planet that is truly a safe haven from evil, there is no place for anyone to hide. Even at the Vatican in Rome Italy the Pope has built high thick walls and employees many guards and has many escape tunnels. We humans try to keep ourselves and our families and our Countries safe but there is no such a place. Folks, not until Jesus the Christ returns in what is called the Second Advent when He Himself and His Angels put an end to this current evil system of things will there be true safety but even then, only for those who stayed faithful to Him unto the end.

 

I am going to close tonight with the words of the Apostle Paul that he wrote in the Book of Philippians chapter 2 verses 10, 11, 14 and 15. “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, the things in Heaven and the things on the Earth and the things under the Earth. And every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father. Do all things without complaining and disputing. That you may be blameless, the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse Nation among whom you will shine as lights in the world.” For it is a truth that safety can only be found in faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Worshiping The Devil Burning To Death A 15 Year Old Girl

Worshiping The Devil Burning To Death A 15 Year Old Girl

(I FIRST PUBLISHED THIS ARTICLE ON MAY 6th OF 2016)

Today on my CNN News feed I read another disturbing piece of news that is coming to us from Pakistani police and from their Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif. This news is of a ‘so-called’ honor killing that has nothing at all to do with anyone’s honor and everything to do with worshiping and serving the Devil Himself. This story goes like this, a 15 yr of girl helped arrange for her best friend and her boyfriend to elope (get married). This happened in a city called Abbottbad in North West Pakistan where ‘Tribal Councils’ tend to be the ‘real’ authorities, not the police or the military. This 15 member Council called a Jirga ordered the death of this young lady. The report says that 13 of those Council members took part in the murder and those 13 have been arrested with a few others. In this case the police have also arrested the girls Mother because they said she knew in advance what was going to happen and did not tell the police so that made her complicit in the murder. Not mentioned is why the other two members of that Council who also knew were not arrested, why not is my question? The way that these animals chose to murder this young lady is they drugged her, kidnapped her, choked her, chained her to a van and then set the van on fire with her alive inside it. As I said in the title of this article, Devil worshipers. This religion that is called Islam has nothing to do with a ‘God’, it only has to do with these folks being raised in Devil worshiping, the good point about this is that these people do not know what they are doing. I totally believe that way over 90% of these disciples of Satan would drop that religion in a flat second if they only knew the truth about who Allah really is.

Life: It Is What It Is

Life: It Is What It Is

Yes it is what it is but does that then depend on what ‘it’ is? ‘It’ could be like ‘truth’, does truth simply depend on whose version of it we seek? The ‘it’ of this note to you today is simply ‘life’. I have been blessed to have been given over sixty years here upon this patch of ground and I have seen many pretty locations here in the States and in Canada. I now only see them in my memories as life and time have retired my roaming days. No amount of wanting to do things that I used to could do changes the fact that I am now a broken down old man and my body just won’t let me do it. ‘It’ simply is like life itself, it is what it is, until we change it.

 

I can’t go back and change the mistakes of my past nor can I relive days of old with people I love, but who have moved on. If you are like me at all then you also have several points in times past where you wish you could change a decision you made in your personal life. One of the hard truths of life is that we can only go forward in life, we can not spin the globe counter clock wise. Having to live with the knowledge of our own mistakes is what tends to grow us as adults and as humans, or it can break us if we dare to let it. Depression can be the ‘it’ that destroys our lives sometimes if we let it control us. Wine, women and song is said to destroy, but only if we let it. We humans are hopefully like a sponge, we learn everyday as we are made to go forward to learn from ‘it’, life, our mistakes, or our successes.

 

Race is a good example of ‘it is what it is’ I think for this demonstration of what I am trying to say. Race to me is nothing more than a skin color, it is not a definition of a type of person or at least it should not be considered so. Race is what we as a society are choosing to let it be, good, evil, or something that completely does not matter. I am a white person who was born in the American south, these are facts that I had nothing to say about when they happened, no one else here on earth had anything to do with their two situation’s either. Things no one can control should not matter. Racism is something we can all control, if the color of a person is what is most important to you, you are poisoning your own soul and the lives of those around you. An example I am going to give right now is obviously just my own opinion but then again isn’t this what most (not all though) folks writing blogs are doing? If you are a person who believes that your race was treated wrong in the past or that you are not being treated as equals now, have you intern grown to be a hate filled soul? Have we become that which we have always hated in others? Our skin color is what it is. The rest of it, the hatred, the stupidity, these are ‘it’s’ that could be changed. That is if, we will choose to accept the love of Jesus in our heart, mind and soul. If we choose not to, we will cost us ‘it/our own soul, to be cast into hell forever. That is to high of a price for everyone and anyone to have to pay for ‘it/hate/racism/stupidity/ignorance’. It is not just our own life that is one the line everyday, it is our eternity that is also staring us in the face.